June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month, and every year seems to turn into more of a spectacle than the last. With seemingly every major corporation changing their social media favicons to a version of their logo with rainbow colors and releasing statements about their commitment to equity, no one wants to be seen as retrograde.
That is, except for those who actually are retrograde.
As someone who holds to a traditional view of sexual ethics and runs in circles with people with similar theological positions, I’ve noticed an unsettling uptick in vitriol and harmful language against the LGBTQ+ community this time of year, along with an ample about of fear mongering and political punditry.
To be sure, I’m not suggesting that we have nothing to be concerned about. This conversation is happening everywhere. Contention over LGBTQ+ Pride has even become a point of conflict in Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League, raising concerns about public decency, as well as religious liberty for players and team employees who wish to opt out.
Many everyday citizens face similar pressures at their places of employment. These are real and legitimate concerns.
Nevertheless, as someone who holds to the historic Christian faith and its view of sexuality, but also as someone who understands that we live in a pluralistic society where my view is no longer the majority view, navigating a month like June can feel incredibly complicated.
Layer onto that complexity a personal relationship you may have with someone who identifies as LGBTQ+, and it can feel nothing short of paralyzing.
No matter what you say—or don’t say—you’re likely to draw criticism from either “camp.” And if you’re anything like me, you’re just trying to enjoy the warmer weather and longer hours of sunlight that come with June, not actively lob grenades into important relationships in your life.
Be that as it may, because this issue is a fulcrum in defining so many other aspects of our lives and society, it’s important to stay engaged. And while I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have all the answers, here are at least two mistakes I see Christians make that I think we should avoid.
Mistake 1: Seeking To Overcorrect for the Prominence of LGBTQ Messaging.
Pride Month, like so many other things in our society, has become deeply commoditized. There is money to be made, merch to be sold, customers to attract. And whenever that’s the case, we find no shortage of empty virtue signaling.
For example, Burger King’s Austria marketing department announced that the fast food chain would be selling “Pride Whoppers” last year, which are Whoppers with either two top buns or two bottom buns.
The level of frivolity required for such a marketing stunt feels more fit for a Saturday Night Live sketch than at the center of the PR strategy for a global corporation. I don’t imagine anybody who thinks seriously about these issues would consider “Pride Whoppers” to be a genuine act of advocacy.